During and post-pandemic, cloud computing has been a savior for businesses. From facilitating online learning to supporting remote work, the cloud has been that one best friend. With the rise of the cloud, the domain of DevOps has been getting tremendous popularity too. Seeing the surge of demand for Cloud services and DevOps professionals, it’s wise that graduates and young professionals understand these domains. So, let’s have a sneak peek into the careers in cloud computing and DevOps.
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a system of databases and software, typically operated in data centers and warehouses. It enables users and businesses to access digital information over the internet from anywhere, rather than having physical servers in a network closet in a back office. Cloud computing offers businesses reduced IT overhead costs, which is especially important for small businesses and startups that may not have the capital to invest in an extensive on-premises IT department.
On the consumer side, a reduction of physical media such as CDs, DVDs, and video games has led to the rise of on-demand streaming services. This requires remote storage options that can support large amounts of data to be delivered accurately and immediately. In the IT field, advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT compatibility have driven enterprises to seek the agility and flexibility that the cloud offers.
Required Skillset to Make a Career in Cloud Computing
- Database management and programming. Those familiar with SQL, NoSQL and Linux will have the advantage.
- Autoscaling and migration techniques
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning. These two technologies aid businesses’ agility and efficiency by processing and analyzing patterns, making insights based on that data, and facilitating faster, more accurate decision-making.
- Understanding and experience with cloud technologies and providers. Some of these vendors include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Oracle.
- DevOps and Agile Development methodologies
Top Cloud Service Providers
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
- IBM Cloud
- Alibaba Cloud
- Rackspace Cloud
Top Job Roles in Cloud Computing
- Cloud Developer
- Cloud Architect
- Security Analyst
- Cloud Database Administrator
- Cloud Network Engineer
- DevOps Cloud Engineer
- Data Engineer
- Cloud Data Scientist and Machine Learning Engineer
What is DevOps
DevOps is a set of practices, tools, and a cultural philosophy that automates and integrates the processes between software development and IT teams. It emphasizes team empowerment, cross-team communication and collaboration, and technology automation. It’s an important skillset (or rather mindset) to succeed as a data scientist.
DevOps essentially can help in –
- Increased business agility
- Reduced time to market cycle
- Reduced cost of quality
- Increased quality and confidence in code
- Increased Productivity
- Reduced cost
- Increase in customer satisfaction
- Increased Application / Product uptime
What does a DevOps Engineer do?
Basically, a DevOps engineer is responsible for designing, maintaining the software development pipeline. He also makes sure that software is deployed properly without any issues. A DevOps engineer knows how to automate processes and write automation scripts. He also knows how to keep the whole infrastructure secure and robust.
A DevOps engineer has excellent communication skills that help him to convey ideas and exchange information between different teams.
On a daily level, a DevOps engineer is responsible for making sure scaling needs of the cloud are fulfilled, optimization, managing permissions, documentation.
So the person, who is responsible for something as important as the software development pipeline and its infrastructure, must have knowledge about almost everything related to this field, such as programming, Servers, DevOps tools, windows, Linux, cloud, full-stack.
Cloud and DevOps
DevOps and cloud are joined at the hip. The overwhelming majority of cloud development projects employ DevOps, and the list will only get longer.
Many people combine DevOps and cloud as one and the same. Yes, they’re related, but they’re actually two different job roles and areas within IT. Even though it’s not ideal, it’s entirely possible for one to exist without the other.
Part of the confusion stems from the close relationship between the two. For example, DevOps software doesn’t have to be placed in the cloud, but it often is. And DevOps and CloudOps are both tied to parts of IT that rapidly change and often overlap.
Now, to understand a little more about the domains of Cloud Computing and DevOps, we reached out to Swarnava Datta.
Swarnava is an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer with 14 years of IT experience. He is experienced in managing AWS Cloud migration projects and supporting hybrid cloud environments for retail businesses.
After working with TCS for more than a decade, he’s is moving to a new role. Luckily, that helped me to have some first-hand insights into the fields of Cloud Computing and DevOps.
Careers in Cloud Computing and DevOps
Q&A with Swarnava Datta
Q. What are the differences between B.Tech Computer Science and BCA (Computer Applications)?
Swarnava: BCA is more on the computer application side which gives an idea over the application development part whereas in B.Tech it is more on the engineering side. Like for computer science degrees, BCA will have a more in-depth perspective of the architectural side along with the working principles of computer science.
Q. Why did you choose / How did you end up in the server engineering/cloud computing vertical (and not software development or something else)?
Swarnava: For me managing the server and making sure the environment is up and running is more challenging rather than software development. While software development gives knowledge on how to develop an application, I am more inclined towards how to run the software/application in a better architecture environment to keep it running smoothly.
Q. How would you explain the importance of servers and cloud infrastructure in layman’s terms? Why do we need cloud in the age of AI/ML and Data Science?
Swarnava: We need infrastructure to run anything like codes and applications. Whatever we do we need infrastructure setup either on cloud or on local setup. Now in the age of Data Science and AI/ML, at the backend, there is an infrastructure that is either managed by us or by cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more.
If we just have an outline of knowledge about the backend infrastructure it helps us in long term to manage our codes and set up ourselves in a more cost-effective way rather than relying on big cloud providers.
Q. Apart from AWS, there are Microsoft Azure and GCP. Why did you choose to specialize in AWS?
Swarnava: AWS is the widest and most used service of all-around public cloud computing. If we look at the cloud community, the growth of AWS is phenomenal in the last couple of years, and also as per the latest Gartner report, AWS is top among the public cloud service providers.
Q. Could you please share your learning journey and an ideal learning roadmap for AWS and Cloud Computing enthusiasts?
Swarnava: To understand cloud and AWS as a cloud provider it’s important to have some basic knowledge on Unix, Network, infrastructure but if you do not have any knowledge then also anyone can become a cloud expert in a matter of a couple of years.
Ideally one should start with cloud computing basics and then proceed with AWS courses. To gain knowledge about AWS, learning and acquiring the AWS certifications would be most appropriate. AWS has certification roadmaps starting from beginner level to advance and as time goes by one can advance.
Q. What is DevOps? What are the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer?
Swarnava: DevOps is a concept of bringing in IT operations and software development parts together to form a unique environment of automation and continuous development of software and application life cycles. DevOps engineer roles include large areas and there are numerous tools to be learned from. Ideally, it takes somewhere around 2 to 4 years to gain knowledge in the vast tools of DevOps.
Q. Tell us something outside work?
Swarnava: I love to do photography and would like to nurture that in the coming years. I also enjoy being fit and running and cycling are two sports which I enjoy very much and I love spending some time every day on those sports.
I believe in work-life balance is also important in order to be more productive. It’s all about time management which I learned throughout my career. One needs to learn how to manage time effectively and use it for more productive work.
Q. What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Swarnava: Once I was out of college, I didn’t get enough chance to read and know technology. So I would wish I could have spent some more time and learned computer language in a better way that would have helped me in my career. I love to learn new technology but time is short for learning so many things.
Q. What would be your career advice to high school students (who want to study computer science and engineering after 12th) and college students?
Swarnava: My advice for high school students would be, it’s very important that you spent some time with yourself and understand what do you want in your career, make a goal and get a roadmap with a clear vision for achieving the goal. This will always help you to keep focused.
Same for college students, it’s very important to have goals and visions in your life and always ask this question of where you want to be after 5 years and make your paths ready for achieving that goal.
High school students who are interested in exploring the basics of Computer Science and Cloud Computing, Swarnava will be teaching at the Online Data Science, AI & Cloud Computing Summer Program for Grade 9 – 12 Students.
Featured Image Source: Helios Solutions